Tate McRae is a Canadian singer and songwriter who rose to fame after becoming the first Canadian finalist on So You Think You Can Dance. A year later, Tate’s first original song, One Day, provided her breakthrough in the music arena. RCA Records saw potential in Tate McRae, and in August 2019, they offered her a recording contract.
McRae released her debut EP, All the Things I Never Said, in December 2019. The project earned Tate titles such as ‘Canada’s answer to Billie Eilish’ and ‘one of pop’s bright young hopes.’
This piece will look at Tate’s parents, her epic songwriting skills, and her private personal life.
Tate’s mother introduced Tate to dancing and she is still a huge influence in her life
Tate McRae was born on 1st July 2003 to a German mother and Canadian father. Three years later, the family moved to Oman for three years due to her father’s work. Tate’s mother, Tanja Rosner, was a dance teacher who gladly fostered Tate’s interest in dancing.
After partaking in countless dancing lessons, McRae started dancing competitively in 2013. She won multiple awards for her skill and talent, and in 2016, she danced with Justin Beiber during his Purpose tour. Tate told GQ that she was starstruck when she first met Justin Beiber: “It was pretty damn cool. I was a big fan of JB.”
Dancing played a crucial role in Tate’s development as it helped her overcome stage fright at a young age. Tate’s transition from dance to music started after she fell in love with songwriting. McRae is recognized more for her singing that her dancing, but she told Euphoria Magazine that she will do her best to merge her two talents:
“Dancing will always be a huge part of my life and I will try my very best to merge the two when it comes to performances and videos, and such. Hopefully, I’ll be able to involve some of the choreographers that have been my biggest mentors all my life.”
Dancing may have become lesser priority to Tate, but the woman who introduced Tate to dancing still plays a crucial role in her life. Tate told GQ that she shares a tight bond with her mom:
“We have the closest relationship in the world and I tell her literally everything, so if anything happens to me, she’s totally up to date. She’ll already know what’s happening, where I am and what I’m doing. That’s not because she’s a controlling mum, it’s because I spill my entire life to her every night.”
Tate’s mature approach to songwriting surprised seasoned veterans in music production
Tate’s music has elements of what you would expect from a 17-year-old songwriter. Stories pertaining to schoolyard drama and teen heartbreak dominate Tate’s lyrics. However, the delivery has an air of maturity which you wouldn’t expect from a songwriter so young.
Tate’s age presented a sort of a roadblock for her when she started songwriting. People would try to dismiss her as too young, but she constantly delivered purposeful lyrics, much to the bemusement of her older colleagues. She told WomeninPop:
“When I first got into [songwriting] sessions at fourteen, it was like, ‘You’re fourteen, you know nothing, let us write the song,’ And that for me was like ‘Whoa, I have my opinions too!’ It’s kind of frustrating. I usually don’t like to tell my age until the end of a session so that people can trust my voice and trust what I want to say.”
McRae’s music is so deep that it requires several listens before one deciphers the message. On the face of it, Tate’s song, Dear Parents, seems to be directed towards parents doing a poor job at raising their children. However, Tate explained in a YouTube video posted on 10th March 2019 that the song criticizes parents, but it lays most of the blame on the teens. “I feel like, teenagers, when they don’t know how to figure themselves out, they blame it on their parents,” she said.
Tate’s ability to tap into emotions she felt a long time ago helps her come up with emotional songs on a dime. She told WomeninPop that she wasn’t feeling at all emotional when she wrote the tear-jerking song You Broke Me First:
“It’s actually funny because my headspace wasn’t really in a sad or emotional state. And once my subconscious started to speak I started to draw inspiration from past emotions and really get into the zone. It kind of just came out really fast.”
Tate has learnt that it is better to keep her private life away from the public eye
One of the downsides to fame is that it opens up every aspect of a person’s life to public scrutiny. Tate hasn’t been in the public limelight for long, but she has faced several false rumors. She told GQ that dealing with such rumors is ‘one of the most stressful things in the world.’ The solution for her is to share nothing about her private life. She said:
“As I am getting older, I’m realizing that you don’t need to share your life online, get twisted into a million directions and your intentions never come across on text. I think keeping your life private is the best way to go, while releasing your work and being vulnerable in that aspect of your life.”